Peer Support for Mental Health
and Addiction In South Florida

If you are newly on the road to recovery from addiction or mental health, achieving true freedom can seem nearly impossible. Every day that you stay sober is a monumental achievement, but it can still feel like no one really understands what you are going through. That’s why having the support of people who know exactly what you are going through is incredibly helpful. Those who offer peer support for addiction recovery are people who have been where you are and know what you’re going through. Having peer support on your recovery journey can make a huge difference.

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The word “peers” refers to people who are at the same level that you are. When you were in school, your peers included the students who were in the same grade that you were in, or who took the same classes. At work, your peer group may include colleagues whose training and responsibilities are close to yours.

In the context of a mental health treatment program, peer support refers to healthy and productive interactions among people who are receiving care. One of the many benefits of receiving treatment at a mental health center such as the Ambrosia Behavioral Health is that you will have the opportunity to share support with others who are working to overcome similar challenges and achieve similar goals.

Peer support can be a vital component of effective mental health treatment. Even if you’ve never participated in a mental health treatment program, you probably have a general idea of what to expect. For example, you may know that care is usually provided by a team of professionals. You may also understand that patients and clients often take part in several types of therapy and related activities.

Benefits of Peer Support for Mental Health Treatment

The following are just a few of the many potential benefits of peer support in mental health treatment:

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Overcoming Isolation

When you’re living with an untreated mental health disorder, you may believe that no one could possibly understand what you’re going through. When you participate in a peer support group, you will discover that you are not alone. Connecting with other people who truly understand what it’s like to live with a mental illness can be a life-changing experience.
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Peer support groups are excellent learning opportunities. Participants can discuss which strategies have helped them in their journey toward improved health, and which techniques have not been as effective. They can also share suggestions for dealing with certain challenges or obstacles.
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Compassion & Respect

Mental health stigma is sadly persistent. Public awareness and understanding have improved considerably over the years, but many people still cling to outdated beliefs about mental illness. When you participate in a peer support group, you are in a safe space where you won’t be defined by the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Other participants won’t judge or criticize you because of how you’ve been affected by mental illness.
PTSD & Trauma

Helping Others

Peer support groups aren’t just places to receive help. They are also ideal opportunities to use your experiences and insights to help others. This can take many forms. You may have information that can be valuable to another participant. You may be able to help them solve a particularly difficult problem. Or you may simply be a source of encouragement at a time when they’re struggling.

Another important benefit of peer support groups is that you can continue to participate long after you’ve completed treatment. Recovering from a substance use disorder or a mental health concern can require lifelong effort.

Continuing to actively participate in one or more community-based peer support groups can help you make sustained progress. Your peer support group can also help you overcome temporary setbacks before they become long-term problems.

What is Peer Support for Addiction Recovery?

Peer support has been a fundamental part of the recovery community for decades. In groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, you might have a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who has some time in the program and can offer guidance and support to those new to recovery. In a more structured treatment environment, like rehab, peer support builds off of this blueprint.

Peer supporters are people, like you, who have struggled with addiction. They are those who have not only achieved sobriety but continue to live life in sobriety. They’re able to share their experience to shape their guidance and advice to support you on the road to recovery. While counselors, doctors, and therapists may not always have first-hand experience of living with substance use disorder, peer supporters have lived with and recovered from addiction.

Benefits of Peer Support for Addiction Recovery

Having a system of support helps to strengthen your recovery. Knowing that your family, friends, and your addiction recovery team are there to encourage your continued sobriety is incredibly helpful. But having the additional care and support from someone who has been where you are can strengthen your chances of successfully staying sober. Your peer supporter can give you helpful advice, provide wellness education resources, and be your cheerleader!

Recovering from addiction sometimes means that you have to let go of some friendships or relationships. This isn’t an easy process and your friends or family. However, building new relationships within the recovery community is essential to maintaining your sobriety. There are many benefits to peer support:

Reducing your risk of relapse

Peer supporters have been where you are and have worked through cravings and triggers, and maintained their sobriety. In fact, studies have shown that peer support helps significantly reduce your risk of relapse.

girl in group therapy for addiction
helping each other in addiction treatment

Being role models for recovery

It is important to have role models for living in sobriety. Having general support for your recovery is important for your overall well-being. But having a network of support that can “walk the walk” will give you the guidance you need to model your own sober lifestyle.

Giving you a sense of hope

There is a reason that sobriety is done one day at a time. Recovery — especially in the early days — is difficult. Having a network of folks who have come through and are out on the other side can give you hope for your own journey’s success.

peers for hope
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Helping you develop sober strategies and other coping skills

Learning how to navigate stressful events, triggers, and other life events while sober can be tricky. Your peer support network can not only be there for you when you need a safe place to deal with complex events, but can help you develop the tools you need for maintaining sobriety during these times.

Receive Peer Support at Ambrosia Behavioral Health

Untreated mental illness or addiction can be devastating. But when you get quality care from a reputable provider, your life can get much better. Ambrosia Behavioral Health offers mental health and addiction treatment services in South Florida. Our team can put you on the path toward a healthier and more hopeful future.

You don’t have to recover alone. Maintaining relationships with peers in recovery will not only support you while in treatment but will help you maintain your sobriety long after rehab. At Ambrosia Treatment Center in South Florida, we offer peer support for addiction to help those recover. Contact us today and learn more about our admissions process to find out more about our treatment options.

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